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Justin Perkins and Mirm Kriegel 7 min read

Getting the Message Right for the new Consumer (Donor)

Ever wonder what someone means by Cause Marketing? It's a popular and new trend that helps many nonprofits raise more money -- and build much more awareness of their own brand, mission, and organization by teaming up with marketing-savvy, do-gooder corporations.

Last week, Mirm Kriegel from BBMG and I suggested a new paradigm for messaging donors at Care2's first webinar focused on Cause Marketing. Think about it - at the end of the day donors are also consumers.

In 2009, about $1.6 Billion will be spent on Corporate/Nonprofit Cause Marketing Campaigns.  In light of many nonprofits looking for new sources of revenue during the economic downturn, there is a growing opportunity for nonprofit brands and for profit brands to help each other in light of the growing trend towards corporate social responsibility.

Here's a study done by the Cause Marketing Forum showing the benefit on sales for corporate brands.

And nonprofits can benefit from tapping into the expertise, budgets, corporate giving, and reach of for profit brands - assuming that there is a good alignment with the brands.

Mirm Kriegel suggests that a smart Cause Marketing strategy starts with clearly knowing what your brand represents (hint: it's not just your logo or tagline).  A good brand stands for something unique and captures the promise of your mission.

Knowing what your brand stands for ensures better alignment with other brands. Mirm encourages organizations to follow the "five laws of branding" - own a word or idea, focus on a triple value proposition, lead a category, walk your talk, and be consistent to build a brand over time.

The BBMG Conscious Consumer Report is a fascinating read for marketers, and their in-depth research suggests that health and safety, honesty, convenience, relationships, and doing good are the primary values that inform purchasing decisions.

Cause Marketing campaigns should tap into natural online behavior or purchasing behaviors (piggyback on what people are doing anyway), while keeping in mind the New Consumer's values.  Ideally the Consumer feels good or better about participating in a campaign that does something good with little extra effort on his or her behalf.

Justin Perkins suggests that consumer-centric messaging and story-telling are key for successful campaigns. What's in it for the the consumer?  It's not about your organization - place the consumer at the center of the story - as the hero - and position the organization as the facilitator, mentor or storyteller. 

You can see more details, Cause Marketing examples, a specific example of a well-written cause marketing email highlighting the important components of effective communication to New Consumers, and links for further research in the attached presentation.

Click here to listen to the 60-minute webinar and follow along with the slides in context.  

Care2.com is the first and largest online social network for do-gooders that has grown its membership to more than 12 million members through word of mouth from following these rules of Cause Marketing, and in the process has helped over 450 nonprofits and socially responsible brands recruit millions of Conscious Consumers/Donors. 

BBMG is an integrated marketing firm, dedicated to the intersection of branding, social purpose and innovation. 

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